Tuesday, July 31, 2012


How confident are you?  I mean, really?

Yesterday, I was washing dishes, and I went outside to check on the girls.  They asked if they could go ride their bikes together, so I said, "Sure."  Todd was outside talking with one of our 'neighbors' and the boys were hanging out in the RV after exploring for a while in the scorching heat.

It did not take long, before I noticed THIS!


That is Emily, riding her bike, in public, with CURLERS IN HER HAIR!!!


I had to capture this moment in time.  How often, in life, are we SO confident, that we honestly don't care what people think!?  To the tune of wearing lime-green curlers in our hair!

I think I need to take a few lessons from her! HA!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Memphis, TN.

Visiting Memphis is not what I expected.  I had this grand picture in mind of a quaint, medium-sized town, filled with lights, music and southern hospitality.  Let me just say,  it AIN'T that!
It is really depressing driving through downtown Memphis, with all the run-down warehouse buildings and dilapidated apartments.  There is the great Mississippi River running right along its side, and a pretty park, as well as a few sights that we were able to enjoy.

Attention!!  Elvis is in the building!!!!

O.K., maybe not, but we did enjoy all the gift shops, movies, music, and much more!  :)

'Thank you......thank you very much.........

There is his home. :)  The property is gorgeous, and everything seems to be taken care of nicely.  We wanted to go inside, but for our crew, it was going to almost $250!!!  UH.....no way.

Outside the gate, surrounding his property, is a huge brick wall with 'autographs' by those who have admired his home. :)

So, we came prepared with our Sharpie marker!

AAwwwww...... too sweet. :)

This is the entrance gate.

Totally cool jumpsuits, ranging from $1500 to $over $6,000!!!

Elvis loved BLING!

After, Graceland, we went to downtown Memphis to visit the famous Peabody Hotel.  There is a cute children's book, Make Way For Ducklings that shares the TRUE story of how a family of ducks became part of a busy city schedule.  Every day, since 1933, a 'Duck Master' stops traffic, and allows the ducks to cross the street and go back to their home.  Now, this story took place in Boston, MA.
BUT, this 'waddling' tradition in Memphis actually stems from the hotel manager getting a little tipsy one day after hunting, and putting his live decoys in the lobby fountain.  It received so much praise, that they decided to continue the tradition. (It still happens at 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.) They roll out the red carpet LITERALLY, and have a duck march. :)  

Here we are, inside of the Peabody Hotel's Lobby, admiring the ducks, inside this gorgeous 'bath.'

Aren't they so cute?!

We also went to the Duck Palace on the rooftop of the hotel.

 Pretty nice for a few ducks, huh?

Hannah LOVED the piano that played 'by itself!' :)

We all thought this vehicle was interesting....

Then, we decided to take a trolley ride.  This was a first for the Golden Gang!

For only a $1.00 per person, you can ride all over downtown Memphis.

So, it's not what I expected, but that doesn't mean, it can't be FUN!


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Gulpha Gorge Campground- Campground Review

In Hot Springs, AR., we stayed at a really cool, little spot.  I LOVE the natural spring running right behind our site, and the 'woodsy' feeling was so nice. :)

Price -$12/night!!!  With our National Park pass, we got our site (FULL HOOK-UPS!) for half price!

Amenities - bath house, trails, natural spring, picnic table, good size sites

The location was perfect to visit downtown Hot Springs National Park.  I would DEFINITELY recommend this campground, if you like the natural setting.  It would have been even better, had it been in the winter or spring time.  :)


Friday, July 27, 2012

Mid-America Science Museum

 In Hot Springs, we visited this Science Museum for FREE!  I love free.  :)  We have a national museum pass through Evansville Museum, in Evansville, Indiana.  (It was only $50 for our whole family of 7 to visit over 400 History, Science, and Children's Museums all over the nation!)

I appreciate science museums, because, there is something for everyone, of all ages.

Parker was trying his best to lift this contraption that controlled an air compressor.  :)

We saw how solar energy works.....

And kinetic energy......

They felt the power of hurricane force winds.....

yes, she is my dramatic one...... :)

Tanner showed his skills operating 'Zeus' the deep sea robot that picks up buried treasure 1500 feet below the surface!  (He has a natural- mechanically -operating- kind of coordination) HA!

Here, Zach was pretending to be the 'Drill Sargent' while Emily and Hannah were using a pulley system to lift their own weight.

There were so many creative inventions through out the museum!

Zach is constructing a building that can withstand an earthquake.

At the museum, there was a 'Shipwreck' display.

Emily's best pirate look.......yeah, I think it looks a little scary.......

Now, this was the favorite of the day!  It is a 'cave' playground that is only 36 inches tall!  You had to crawl or slide through the entire thing!  IN THE DARK!!  You definitely can NOT enter this if you get claustrophobic!
We ALL, yes, even me, went through and it was exciting!  Kind of one of those scary-fun things to do! :)

We spent a total of 4 1/2 hours at the museum!  It truly felt like a couple of hours, though.  Time flies when you're having FUN!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hot Springs National Park

What can I say?  Hot Springs, AR., is HOT in July!  It was 100 degrees outside when we visited.
What I find interesting about this place, is that, it is the focal point of downtown Hot Springs.  In 1915, Bathhouse Row was a bustling, happening place in America.  People from all over the world came here for the 'healing' power of the springs.   Isn't it sad how we can put SO much confidence in things, rather than the God who created them? :)

On Bathhouse Row, there are 8 main bath houses that have been rebuilt from fires in the past, and preserved as working bath houses or museums and gift shops.

The National Park headquarters was found inside Fordyce House, so we took a tour through the 3 story building.  There were huge tubs, dressing rooms, cooling rooms, massage parlors, steaming boxes and more.

I enjoyed the architecture found along each building, but I would have enjoyed it more if it was cooler outside! HA!
 Part of the Jr. Ranger requirements, were to find the Noble Fountain.  We searched and walked and searched and walked and complained and whined and complained some more  until we realized that we were NOT going to find it!   As much as I wanted to conquer the fountain, I did not want my kids to pass out or have a heat stroke!  So, we strolled along the Bathhouse Row locating specific architectural elements. :)

Did you know that the spring water is consistently 143 degrees- year 'round!?

This year, my older boys will be completing specific history and science curriculum for their school work, and are not 'required' to do the Jr. Ranger books.  BUT, they agreed to help the little ones with their books. :)  As a mom, it was sweet to see Zach helping Emily and Tanner reading to Parker. :)  Hannah finished hers with very little help from me.  (she is getting so big.....too fast)

Good job Jr. Rangers!  Today's history and science lessons on architecture, expansion, commerce, geology and the water cycle earned you a new badge for your collection. :)  Love it!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

State #20 Arkansas!!

Good ole' Arkansas, state #20 for the Golden Gang!  It was a fairly pretty drive from Texarkana, and we arrived in Arkansas in the afternoon, with lots of sunshine.  In fact, it is in the 90's - 100 degrees right now.  Feels like a Texas summer alright. HA!

Once we saw the sign for our new state, this is what the kids looked like. :)

Our campsite is really great and right behind Zach is a natural spring fed creek.

The kids could not wait to go rock hopping and explore the surroundings.  Tanner and Zach went in the woods and rock climbing nearby, but I didn't get any pics of them.  Of course, they came back with stories of 'survival' and accomplishments!  Gotta love those boys. :)

Then, onto the bikes!

I like the hills of Arkansas so far.  There are a lot of trees, and it seems so green and country feelin' here. :)


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Texarkana, TX. -Campground Review

Well, we left Livingston and head to Texarkana, TX., safe, sound and feeling much more confident!  We made it to Clear Springs COE Park at night, which is not ideal, but made it just in time before they closed the gates! WHEW!

The COE Parks, (Corps of Engineers) are so well managed, clean and always by a body of water, whether it is a lake, or dam, and offer playgrounds, and hook-ups.

Price- $18/night for water and electric (30 amp) and a dump station

Amenities- lake, swimming beach, playgrounds, clean shower/bath house

The staff was very friendly, and even though we were here for only a day, we could have easily stayed longer if it wasn't so hot!  (30 amps is NOT enough for a 40 ft. home on wheels!)


Monday, July 23, 2012

Lift Off!!

I am in shock......

It has been 7 months since we have traveled, and now we are full-timing again!  :)

We actually left yesterday, and only made it 45 minutes down the road to Livingston, TX at the Rainbow's End, Escapees' Campground. Ha!  It was honestly, a VERY stressful situation for a while......

Long story short, we thought there was something TERRIBLY wrong with our truck, hitch or toy-hauler or all THREE!  We felt uneasy how it was riding on the road.  Come to find out, thank the Lord, it is normal to bounce a little when you're pulling 19,000 pounds.  yeah.....we're newbies AGAIN. :)

The change from the Class A to a truck/toy-hauler has been quite the transition, so we are learning the ropes and REALLY being stretched.

I am so thankful for growth and change in my life, but to be honest, it has not been easy.  The Lord is breaking down some very strong walls of pride, baggage and other really messy parts of my life.  I am having to face fears, like anyone else, but it seems like the Lord is putting me into 'overdrive' lately.  Thankfully, I have a loving husband that is NOT giving up on me, and is willing to also grow and change.

  It is amazing what a new day can bring. :)

Now, we are on the road again, and excited about the many new places, people and adventures that await!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Quick Update

Well, the countdown is ON!

 Four more days, and we are closing on the sale of our home!

Six more days, and we are 'hittin' the road!'

Please, please pray for us!  We are SO anxious to start our next adventure on the road, and pray it all goes with out a hitch......no pun intended.....really......  ;)


Thursday, July 5, 2012